Micro sensors offer the potential solution to cost, size, and weight issues associated with smart networked sensor
systems designed for environmental/missile health monitoring and rocket out-gassing/fuel leak detection, as well as
situational awareness on the battlefield. In collaboration with the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), University of
Alabama (Tuscaloosa and Birmingham), Alabama A&M University (Normal), and Streamline Automation (Huntsville,
AL), scientists and engineers at the Army Aviation & Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center
(AMRDEC) are investigating several nano-based technologies to solve the problem of sensing extremely small levels of
toxic gases associated with both chemical warfare agents (in air and liquids) and potential rocket motor leaks.
Innovative techniques are being devised to adapt voltammetry, which is a well established technique for the detection
and quantification of substances dissolved in liquids, to low-cost micro sensors for detecting airborne chemical agents
and potential missile propellant leakages. In addition, a surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technique, which
enhances Raman scattered light by excitation of surface plasmons on nanoporous metal surfaces (nanospheres), is being
investigated to develop novel smart sensors for the detection of chemical agents (including rocket motor out-gassing)
and potential detection of home-made explosive devices. In this paper, results are delineated that are associated with
experimental studies, which are conducted for the aforementioned cases and for several other nano-based technology
approaches. The design challenges of each micro sensor technology approach are discussed. Finally, a comparative
analysis of the various innovative micro-sensor techniques is provided.